I've Hit the Wall

>> 11.19.2009

Literally, my walls are dragging me down. I headed into my home renovations full steam ahead (removing the popcorn, working on the bathroom, and ripping things down in the kitchen), but now I’m getting overwhelmed with all of the little details that need to be finished… I’m just stuck. I really wanted to have a clean and livable home for the holidays, but I’m not sure if that’s happening now.

It's all of the cutting in...
and the nearly impossible to reach two story stairwell...

and don't even get me started on how I feel about going back and doing all of the trim!

It's really hard having to do all of the work alone! I’m really tempted to call Mario, the painter, to do my dirty work for me (and shell out a couple hundred dollars to do so).

How did you get over the wall during your renovations? Do you think I should go ahead and spend the money on Mario or push through it myself?


Amanda November 19, 2009 at 10:35 AM  

The same thing happened to me. I asked myself, "Do I have the time to do this?" At the time, I realized that the answer was no. Also, I happen to know that my painter's hourly wage is just about the same as mine, so I figured that, rather than me taking vacation time to do it, I would just go to work, and effectively transfer my wage right over to him to do it. Painting, especially all the prep work, is not something I really enjoy. So I felt okay about paying for it. However, if your money is worth more than your time, then bust out the paint brushes! (Sorry for all my long-winded comments. I just can't help myself.)

The Brick Cottage November 19, 2009 at 10:35 AM  

I think that's a job I'd hire out--the two story stairwell would not be something I'd want to tackle. I think sometimes hiring it out can be worth it when you have a timeline you're wanting to meet and just think about all the time you'll be saving in which you can tackle something else.

Alexis L. of One Grand Home November 19, 2009 at 10:37 AM  

I've gotten over the deco wall (not yet a renovator) when my husband really stepped up offered to do a lot of the dirty work. My thought is, weigh what you could do with a couple of hundred dollars in terms of materials or projects and weigh it against the value of having your projects finished in a timely manner. When you know what you value you more, I think the answer will be manifest in terms of what you should do. I will admit that I have often run myself so ragged that it's taken me a long time to actually appreciate projects once they are done and I have sometimes wish I just paid someone to, say, paint the cove ceiling to avoid the bitter taste in my mouth of too much physical exertion.

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog November 19, 2009 at 10:44 AM  

@Amanda- Don't be sorry, I love your comments!

@all- I already feel relief that you all are supportive of my hiring it out. Since most of it is an easy diy type of thing, I didn’t really think it would be ‘thrifty’ of me to pay someone to do it all.

frugalapolis November 19, 2009 at 10:47 AM  

How about you get the painter in and BOTH of you do it. That way you can just get it done, and not pay as much. Granted maybe he isn't the kind to work along side the client, but if he is - this would be a quick way to get it done. Then take a break for a while and wait till you have a chunck of time to come back and tackle your next task.

Danielle and Clint November 19, 2009 at 10:59 AM  

I say if you can afford it, call for help! Painting, even though easy, is not easy to find all the time for. I HATE painting trim and ceilings so I feel your pain. I have a stairway with a high ceiling also that I have yet to finish painting because I can't reach it. So give the painter a call and have him help you check this off your list!

Meg November 19, 2009 at 11:05 AM  

First of all, let me just say that you are a woman and I've heard you roar. You need to pat yourself on the back for being tough as nails and doing so much renovation work on your own.

There's nothing that I respect more than a hard working, independent woman and you are quite the example. Not to mention you are the queen of thrift.

However, it's about to be the holiday season and this is no time for you to stress yourself out. Not to mention that the area you're about to paint isn't just an easy wall that you can tackle in an hour without the help of a ladder or something else, you know?

Don't push yourself too far. Enjoy that you have a nice job and can afford to treat yourself every now and again, and relax while someone takes the stress away from you.

micah @ the yellow front door November 19, 2009 at 11:09 AM  

If you can afford it, I say go for it! Your sanity is worth more than a few dollars :)

Kim at Yellow Brick Home November 19, 2009 at 11:19 AM  

How about this - do you have a handful of friends that you trust with a paint brush? I actually love painting, and I personally think painting parties are FUN. Call me a dork, but it's true.

Could you do something fun, like a themed painting party, and invite 5 or 6 pals to help you get the job done in one day? You'd really gotta trust your bud on the trim!

Entice them with lunch and dinner, etc. You'll save a bundle, and might have a little fun after all!

Kate November 19, 2009 at 11:36 AM  

I would definitely hire out that stairwell area. If the additional cost for everything else is reasonable, I would just go for it and get it done.

Sara @ Russet Street Reno November 19, 2009 at 11:47 AM  

First of all, you are doing all the things that we have done at our house. The two story stairway was pretty close to impossible to paint. Especially because we had a little bit of molding up at the top that I had to carefully cut in around. I even splurged on a 'long arm' painting tool, but I still ended up on a ladder about to kill myself at any moment. I wish I would've hired someone to do it, because it was exhausting and dangerous. Amanda made a very good point, our time is worth money, vacation from work costs money, etc. So give yourself this one break and hire a painter, then you can focus on things that will make you feel good about your place for Christmas!

maura November 19, 2009 at 11:54 AM  

Kasey, when we moved into our house we painted almost all of it ourselves after we got two quotes between 5-7 thousand. However rather then paying medical bills for my husband or me we did hire someone (out of work neighbor) to paint own hallway (which looks just like yours-really tall) I am still trying to figure out how to get a cobweb out of the corner? It only took a couple days and It looked great and not once have I ever regretted hiring someone for the job. I am not a ladder and plank kind of girl! With the holidays around the corner, consider it a present to yourself! I am all for being thrifty but not at the cost of safety. Good Luck and Hope this helps.

Jeannine @ Small and Chic November 19, 2009 at 1:16 PM  

You're probably going to think I'm nuts, but have you thought about asking for blogger help?

I'm pretty sure the Brick City Love kids got help with some projects via their blog. :)

Maybe I'm too trusting or maybe I assume other people are too trusting, but I would help another blogger in a second if they were in my area and needed an extra set of hands on a Saturday or Sunday.

Anonymous,  November 19, 2009 at 1:32 PM  

I'm gonna go anonymous in case any of my friends read this blog- but I am not big on getting friends to help. Maybe I just have the wrong friends, but it seems that everyone is always really excited to help at first, but then they come over and they realize it's actual WORK and not just going to Lowe's and smilingly picking out paint colors and then happily rolling out rugs with HGTV music playing. Besides, bless their hearts, people just aren't very skilled at things they don't do often. They are likely to be even less so if it's not their own house, even if they are a very good friend. Stick with Mario. If you wanted you could tell him you would do the prep, but he is probably more efficient at doing it himself. Let us know what you choose!

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog November 19, 2009 at 1:48 PM  

@all- Seriously, thanks for the ideas/ support!

As for asking friends: I would love to be able to do that, but I just feel a little guilty about imposing on people during this busy time of the year.

After sending a woe-is-me email to my boyfriend, here's what he replied:

"We could do one last hurrah on one day over this weekend and whatever we don't finish you could hire out. That way you feel good about saving some money."

This seems like it could be a good in-between compromise. Plus, I'd have a little help.

LizzieBeth November 19, 2009 at 1:56 PM  

I agree 100% with your boyfriend. Painting is "easy" but sooo time comsuming. Cutting out is the bain of my existance.

Honestly girl, you are doing SOOO much work on your own. If you really want this done in a timely manner, call Mario... but only if he bring Luigi too!


alanna rose November 19, 2009 at 4:06 PM  

If I lived near you I'd come and help you do the trim - cutting in is always my job when my husband and I paint :)

If you know that Mario has reasonable prices, will do a good job (I've seen so many awful painters, and it's so expensive!), and it will make you feel better, then it could be a wonderful Christmas present for yourself. One last push to finish up as much as you can is probably a good idea, too.

Sometimes, we just have to live with chaos for a little while. My current decorating project has been derailed due to an extremely expensive, and unavoidable, home repair. For me, living with an almost empty room is preferable than going into debt to furnish it right.this.very.minute.

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog November 19, 2009 at 4:21 PM  

@Alana Rose- You're too sweet! If only I were actually good at cutting in...

thisgirlandthatguy November 19, 2009 at 6:36 PM  

I'm a firm believer that it's totally worth the money to not have to stress about it.

I like your new layout, too! :)

chacha November 19, 2009 at 7:47 PM  

Every person is different but I've given up on the "have to have things done for visitors, events, etc." I just don't care anymore. If I can do it myself, then I do it. Now, the really tall staircase is a tough one. I did about 18-20 feet up on a tall ladder (those genie things that collapse down to 5ft) but from flat ground (vaulted ceilings - no ladder + stairs) and made my Husband hold it for me when I was up way high cutting in. For areas I couldn't reach even with a ladder, I used a special contraption from lowes that attached to the extension pole. It came out OK - not as perfect as if someone was up there cutting in, but, whatever. If someone is paying that close attention, they have OCD issues and hopefully keep comments to themselves.

So, if you feel like you can't manage to safely cut in on a super-high staircase, pay someone. But the stuff you can manage, why not do yourself? Just don't mentally commit to deadlines that are unrealistic or expect a super-human performance :o)

Oonafey November 19, 2009 at 8:32 PM  

I would hire out all my painting if my fiance would let me. We have been in our house since July and I almost have the first room done. I really hate to paint!! Call Mario. I wish I could.

stacy di November 23, 2009 at 9:27 AM  

I think it's ok to not do EVERYTHING yourself...but it's a tough call! But I like your boyfriends compromise! Can't wait to see the final result...

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